The average British wedding cost more than £18,000 in 2013, and that figure does not include the cost of the honeymoon or even wedding rings. To lower that total, a bride-to-be can make her own tiara. The homemade option allows her to customise the tiara to her taste and style.
Cut a 13-cm (5-inch) length of floral wire.
Select a bead to serve as the tiara's centrepiece and thread the 13-cm (5-inch) wire through the bead until it rests at the wire's centre.
Bend the wire at its beaded point until the two halves of the wire are parallel to each other, like a hairpin. Using the needle-nose pliers, tightly twist the doubled wires together, creating a twisted wire "stem" for the bead.
Position the stem at the centre of the metal headband, at a height and angle pleasing to the eye. The bead should stand 2.5 to 7.5 cm (1 to 3 inches) beyond the headband. Secure the bead in position by winding the wire stem tightly and neatly around the headband. Use the pliers to ensure a tight fit. Once the stem is secure, trim any excess wire.
Repeat Steps 1 through 4, securing a new bead and stem at a pleasing height and distance away from the centre bead. Repeat again on the other side of the centrepiece with another bead and another wire. Keep adding more beads and stems, alternating sides to preserve symmetry as you work your way down each side of the headband. Stop adding stems about 7.5 cm (3 inches) away from each end of the headband; the remaining headband will be tucked under your hair.
Lightly dot instant glue along the underside of the head band to hold the position of each stem. Let the glue dry.
Cut a 75-cm (30-inch) length of floral wire. About 7.5 cm (3 inches) from one end of the headband, tightly twist the wire around the headband, just to secure the wire in place.
Using the free end of the long wire, thread a quantity of smaller, complementary beads close together along its length.
Twine the beaded wire around the headband in a diagonal pattern without bending stems. Stop twining about 7.5 cm (3 inches) from the other end of the headband and remove any extra beads from that end of the wire.
Wind the free end of the wire tightly around the headband to secure it. Carefully snip off excess wire and file down any sharp points.
When selecting the headband, look for a textured metal. This will help disguise the wire twisting around it and provide a gripping surface for the wire and glue. Try not to overlap wires as you wind them around the headband. Overlap adds obvious bulk. Some pliers are already equipped with a wire-cutting mechanism. Keep the design simple and airy or build stems on top of stems for a tangled, vinelike or floral effect. To preserve a triangular shape with the centrepiece bead at the apex, make all other stems gradually shorter as you move further away from the centre. Try on the tiara long before the wedding day to adjust it for comfort and style. Although technically optional, the vine adds sparkle at the base of the tiara and further disguises twined wires.
Protruding wires can scratch skin and snag hair. Secure any wire ends tightly to the headband, cut away excess wire length and file any sharp edges. Do not pinch beads with the pliers; beads can break. Instead, pinch the wire just below the bead to twist and manipulate the stem. Keep about 7.5 cm (3 inches) on each end of the headband free of wire or beads. These ends grip the head tightly, and wire and beads pressed against the scalp may be uncomfortable. Handle the finished tiara carefully to prevent the wires or headband from bending out of shape.
Tips and warnings
- Protruding wires can scratch skin and snag hair. Secure any wire ends tightly to the headband, cut away excess wire length and file any sharp edges.
- Do not pinch beads with the pliers; beads can break. Instead, pinch the wire just below the bead to twist and manipulate the stem.
- Keep about 7.5 cm (3 inches) on each end of the headband free of wire or beads. These ends grip the head tightly, and wire and beads pressed against the scalp may be uncomfortable.
- Handle the finished tiara carefully to prevent the wires or headband from bending out of shape.